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Vilsack, LaHood Sign "Farm to Fly" Biofuel Agreement

In Washington DC, at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is extending for five years its agreement to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and other partners to help develop a viable biofuel for the aviation industry.

The Secretary signed the agreement with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at ABLC, where Secretary Vilsack also  received the inaugural Global Bioenergy Leadership Award.

The new agreement, which includes partners from the commercial aviation sector, follows the initial success of the 2010-2012 “Farm to Fly” initiative. The renewed agreement focuses on future goals – such as designating personnel, evaluating current and potential feedstock types and systems, developing multiple feedstock supply chains, developing state and local public-private teams, communicating results, and issuing periodic reports. The federal government and its partners hope to support the annual production of 1 billion gallons of drop in aviation biofuel by 2018.

“By continuing to work together to produce American made ‘drop-in’ aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, we will create jobs and economic opportunity in rural America, lessen America’s reliance on foreign oil and develop a thriving biofuels industry that will benefit commercial and military enterprises,” Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said. “USDA is pleased to partner with the FAA in our quest to develop alternatives to fossil-based fuel, which is critical to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.”

“Through the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels, we are showing the world that we can come together to solve our greatest environmental challenges,” said Transportation Secretary LaHood. “In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on us to work together to reduce carbon emissions – developing these alternative jet fuels will do just that, while creating jobs and helping airlines save money on fuel.”

For a copy of the most recent report on the “Farm to Fly” efforts, click here.

This article was originally published on Biofuels Digest and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Plane in sky via Shutterstock

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